What to Watch for at the Spring Game
The annual spring game is suddenly upon us and you'd be wise to soak it up because once the last whistle is blown tomorrow, we enter 100 days of wilderness until players report for camp again in early August.
If you're planning to attend the game -- and you should because Alabama is furiously adding seats to Bryant-Denny and will be making a run out OSU's spring game record attendance of 95,722 -- the sun is something you might not be soaking up, with scattered showers forecasted for tomorrow afternoon.
But you're not going for the weather. You're showing up in crazy numbers to get a read (albeit limited) on the composition of the 2010 team. With that said, consider this your guide to of things to watch for tomorrow. Or as we like to call it around here, Festivus in April.
The Pryor to Stoneburner Connection
Jake Stoneburner has been utilized a lot this spring catching balls from the tight end spot. In Columbus under Tressel, that's practically unheard of, yet it's happening and the staff seems intent on actually utilizing the tight end as a playmaker as opposed to a glorified tackle. Stoneburner has the tools and can present a mismatch problem to most defenses the Buckeyes will run into so it will be interesting to see how often Pryor looks to him tomorrow. We've been burned in the past with this kind of optimism, but if Pryor and Stoneburner connect often tomorrow, there's good reason to be thinking happy thoughts this summer.
How About That Quarterback Depth
We're not even going to mention the unthinkable, but we both know it's important to have a capable backup at the quarterback spot. Joe Bauserman has had #2 locked down for two years now, but quite a few people feel Kenny Guiton is coming on strong. While Bauserman lit it up in the spring game two years ago (and then struggled a bit in mop-up time last season), this will be the first chance for many fans to get a read on Guiton. Is he a bonafide option as a backup now or still the project he was when he signed on with the 2009 class? Also, with Pryor expected to see limited action, tomorrow will be a great opportunity for each quarterback to showcase what they can do.
Young Bucks at Running Back
We know what Boom and Zoom are capable of, but what about the pups? Jordan Hall earned some PT last year and awed us with his speed and vision, but tomorrow we'll get to take a closer look at what the Jamaal Berry (injured pretty much all of last season) and Carlos Hyde can do. Berry earns a ton of buzz from what he does on the practice field and Hyde is a banger, so I'm eager to see how they'll do in front of a crowd.
Adams & Hall on the Same Line, OMG!'
With Justin Boren, Mike Brewster, Bryant Browning and JB Shugarts all returning, the big question mark on the line is who will fill in at left tackle. Mike Adams, despite coming in as the "next Orlando Pace" has failed to deliver, thus far. Whether you want to blame that on a lack of motivation or whether you want to chalk up his stunted growth to a case of the of the Donald Washingtons, the left tackle spot appears to be his for the taking. If Adams comes through this year, the sky is truly the limit when discussing the 2010 Buckeyes and Hall is a big part of the team beyond next year.
A Linebacker Battle for the Ages
Who do you like? The Scarlet corps of Homan, Bell, Klein and Newsome or the platoon on the Gray side: Rolle, Sabino, Whiting and Co.? However you cut it, the Buckeyes look to be stacked at linebacker in 2010. While we envision the group of Homan, Rolle and Sabino eventually wreaking havoc on opposing offenses, Saturday will be a great opportunity to measure a talented group from a depth standpoint.
So, what about you? What will you be keeping an eye on Saturday?